Why & How The Great Commission Will Be Completed Part 1
In the summer of 2015, Dr. Leonard Sweet, renowned author, futurist, and a leading evangelical, and Dr. James O. Davis, founder of Cutting Edge International and Global Church Network, were conversing on the phone regarding the future. During the conversation, Dr. Sweet mentioned that the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s nailing the 95 Theses on Castle Church door in Wittenberg, Germany, would take place in 2017. Dr. Sweet then asked, “I wonder if anyone is going to do something about it.”
Dr. Davis responded, “It seems like someone or some organization needs to pause and celebrate the 500th anniversary.” Dr. Sweet also mentioned that following the 500-year celebration of Martin Luther’s nailing the 95 Theses on Castle Church door would be the 2,000-year birthday of the Church.
In 2014, the Holy Spirit began to flood Dr. Timothy Hill’s mind regarding FINISH. At that time, Dr. Hill was serving as director of World Missions for the Church of God and is currently serving as the General Overseer of the Church of God worldwide. On an international flight to Romania, the Holy Spirit filled Dr. Hill’s heart and mind with a six-step acronym for FINISH: Find, Intercede, Network, Invest, Send, and Harvest.
In the summer of July 2015, Dr. Davis flew to Berlin, Germany, and took a train to Wittenberg. Weeks earlier, he had reached out to the president of Wittenberg Seminary, Dr. Hana Kasparick, who also managed Castle Church. After waiting for a brief time on a beautiful summer morning, Dr. Davis met with Dr. Kasparick. During the meeting, he looked directly in her eyes and asked, “Would it be possible for us to have Castle Church on November 1, 2017, during the 500-year celebration?”
Dr. Kasparick instantly grabbed her calendar, opened it up, and said, “No one has booked November 1 yet.” Dr. Davis responded, “Are you sure about this? Five hundred years does not slip up on us very quickly.” She said, “I am the only one who keeps the calendar, and nothing is booked on that day.” He quickly asked, “May we have it?” She responded, “I do not see why you cannot. Please send us a letter of your intent and ask for the specific date you would like to have Castle Church, and I will take it to the committee.”
Six weeks later, Dr. Davis received a confirmation letter from her stating that Global Church Network would have the opportunity to host the Wittenberg 2017 Congress in Castle Church on November 1, 2017. Global Church Network was the only Christian organization permitted to have an international event in Castle Church during the 500-year celebration of Martin Luther’s nailing the theses on Castle Church door. GCN began to synergize toward the 500-year celebration of Protestantism and, at the same time, began to make plans for the 2,000-year birthday of the Church.
At the graveside of Martin Luther during the close of the Wittenberg 2017 Congress, Dr. Timothy Hill led the more than 600 key Christian leaders from 12 world regions in what is called the Finish Declaration: the prayer commitment to finish the Great Commission by the 2,000-year birthday of the Church.
During the Wittenberg 2017 Congress, Dr. Davis articulated that the 2,000-year birthday of the Church would take place between 2030 and 2033 AD. He carefully stated that different groups from around the world would see the dates differently and that we would make plans for Global Church Network to celebrate for a four-year period of time beginning in 2030 AD and continuing until 2033 AD.
The entire body of Christ is living in an unprecedented time, a time when it is possible for the global Church to complete the Great Commission in our lifetime. Generations have come and gone with the hope, ambition, and dream to finish what the Lord commanded us to do nearly 2,000 years ago. It is important for us to understand why and how the Great Commission will be completed by the 2,000-year birthday of the Church.
Why the Great Commission Will Be Completed
The Church has enough members as it relates to the reasons why the Great Commission will be completed. Over the last 100 years, the Church has grown exponentially, compounding each and every year. Indeed, there has been a rise of false religions; but Christianity has continued to grow. In the final analysis, there are only two kinds of religion: true and false.
In 1920, there were several hundred million Christians throughout the world. One hundred years later, the number is approaching 2.5 billion Christians. There are more Christians alive today than ever been before. We have sufficient members!
The Church has enough methods in order to execute ministry today to include accounting methods, financial methods, holistic methods, Bible study methods, leadership methods, training methods, children’s ministry methods, music ministry methods, youth ministry methods, senior adult ministry methods, preaching methods, and countless more. We have methods by which we evangelize and how we disciple. We have methods upon methods. The Church has sufficient methods!
Third, the Church has enough models. Even though methods and models are similar, models do help make the concepts more tangible. Over the centuries, the Church has produced untold number seminaries, Bible schools, local churches, universities, leadership centers and, orphanages. With emergence of the Internet, the Church is learning and applying online and on-ground models. There are more than 10,000 bible schools today!
The Church has enough multiplication in order to finish the Great Commission. The Church is growing faster today than ever before. In China, there are 108 million Christians with an average of 45,000 coming to Christ every day. In India, there are more than 60 million Christians with 30,000 plus coming to Christ every day. It is estimated that by 2035, Africa will become the very first Christian continent with more than 400 million Christians, and the gospel is now marching north throughout Africa. The reason for so much persecution in North Africa today is because that is where the gospel is headed. In the last 75 years throughout Central and South America, more than 300,000 churches have been planted with tens of millions of people coming to Christ. Consider what the Lord has done throughout the world. While there are still hard places and places of spiritual decline, the Church is multiplying faster than ever before.
The Church has enough money to finish the Great Commission. No single organization in and of itself has sufficient funds to complete it; however, the Church together does. It is time—in fact, it is past time—to stop duplicating our efforts and spending money twice when it could be applied synergistically between different organizations to spend money once in order to finish the Great Commission. It is imperative that every dollar be invested wisely in order to move us closer and closer to the finish line. The Church has enough money!
The Church has enough motivation to finish the Great Commission. Twenty years ago, the Church did not have the willpower to overcome the obstacles and turn them into opportunities. Today, however, the mindset is gradually changing; and there is enough motivation to get to the finish line. We are moving from ego and logo to we-go. We are moving from the mindset of what will it take for our organization to complete the Great Commission to what will it take for the Church to complete it. The Lord gave the Co-Mission—not the Mission.
We are moving from silo missions to synergistic missions. In the past we only invested in missionary projects that benefited our own organizations; but today we believe it is possible to grow our organizations and at the same time synergize with other organizations.
We are moving from name-branding to networking. Several years ago, Dr. James O. Davis was invited to San Francisco, California, to speak for a friend and his organization. As he was preparing to make the trip, James’s friend told him, “I’m very excited about our team learning more about networking, but I am also concerned about losing our brand.” James responded, “Jesus Christ is the brand. It is not as much about the name of the organization on the door as it is about the name of Jesus Christ being preached and proclaimed throughout the earth.” We are moving from name-branding to networking.
We are beginning to understand that those who are not networking will eventually not be working. We are moving from consumers to contributors. Instead of asking what we will get out of it, we are asking what we can sow into it. We are moving from WIFM—What’s in It for Me—to WIFJ—What’s in It for Jesus.
The Church has enough momentum to get to the finish line. Look how far we have come over the last 120 years. By 1900 AD, the Church had evangelized 45.69 percent of the world. By 2000 AD, the Church had evangelized 73.09 percent. However, with the growth of the population of the earth and the pace of the population growth of the earth outpacing the growth of the Church even though the Church will continue to evangelize during this century, by 2100 AD, it is estimated that at our current rate, 83.25 percent of the world will be evangelized.
With the previous information concerning the growth of the Church in mind, approximately two billion people will still be unreached—the exact number that is approximately unreached today. What is the answer? It is the synergistic model of building the body of Christ together and speeding things up accordingly to cut that distance down by the 2,000-year birthday of the Church. Population will continue to grow and evangelization will continue to go; but if we are going to finish the Great Commission by the 2,000-year birthday of the Church, synergy is the only way it will be accomplished.
It is important for us to understand that we are living in an unparalleled time in the body of Christ, and it is possible for us to complete the Great Commission. Why? Because we have enough members. We have enough methods. We have enough multiplication. We have enough money. We have enough motivation. We have enough momentum. And with all these powerful forces synergized together, it is possible to finish the grandest race of our lifetime—the Great Commission.